The thought of backpacking throughout Europe is the stuff of dreams among many young people finishing university. It is also a goal of older people who plan to travel as much as they can after retiring. Trust us when we say you could spend the rest of your life backpacking and never truly experience all of Europe. The more tricks you can take, the better.
Throughout this new 5-part series, we want to provide you as much information as possible about backpacking through Europe. We will cover individual countries and some of the sites in those countries beginning with part two. As for this first instalment, we want to focus on some important tips that will make your backpacking experience safer, more affordable and, certainly, more enjoyable.
Here are our top five tips for backpackers in Europe:
1. Make General Plans
While it's true that part of the excitement of backpacking is to wander wherever the moment takes you, not having any plans at all is a good way to exhaust your resources too quickly. For example, it is foolish to start in northern France before heading to Italy, Spain, and Germany respectively. The amount of time and money you will spend criss-crossing yourself is time and money better spent in other ways. It is okay to make general plans regarding routes and destinations.
2. Take Your Time
The whole point of a backpacking tour as opposed to an organised bus or boat tour is to be able to see Europe on your own schedule and according to your own preferences. So do not rush. Take the time to see both the important sites and how the locals live. Take the time to enjoy the sunset or visit a little restaurant hidden away off the beaten path.
3. Purchase a Rail Pass
Many backpackers are surprised to learn transportation is the single biggest expense as they travel through Europe. So walk when you can, hitchhike when you have to, and purchase a rail pass for everything else. The rail system in Europe is very affordable while giving you access to all of the major regions you are likely to visit.
4. Protect Your Electronics
One of the hottest commodities to steal right now is smartphones. Always be very protective of your phone and any other electronics you take. At night, leave your phone locked up if you are going out. Thieves are not afraid to snatch a phone from your hands or pockets.
5. Bring a Surge Protector
You already know to bring a universal adapter for charging your electronics. However, bring a multi-outlet surge protector as well. You would be surprised how hard to come by outlets can be in some cities.
As always, make sure to carry copies of important documents with you just in case you get into any trouble. With that said, we hope you are looking forward to part two of this series. We will start our journey in France and work our way to Denmark.